Stomping the Yard

Stomping the Yard: Tips from the “Study Queen”

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Calling all college students! Our weekly column, Stomping the Yard, aims to help undergrads excel in their studies and social lives.’s team of experts will show you how to get it done, from the day you move into the dorms to the minute you step off campus for that first job. Submit questions and feedback for Stomping the Yard via


Dr. Tiffany Brown is a Pharmacy Manager at a manger pharmacy on the South Side of Chicago. Although, she’s now celebrating her professional success, a little less than two years ago Tiffany was still a student. She had a stellar academic career throughout life, and topped it off by receiving a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Chicago State University in May 2013. But Dr. Brown started from very humble beginnings. She was raised in a low-income household on the south side of Chicago with her parents, four sisters, and brother. She says, “My parents did not attend college and I saw them struggle to make a living. I always wanted a better life for them and myself so I saw my way out of the struggle through education.”
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Dr. Brown is passionate about empowering students who come from similar backgrounds. She says, “On a broader scale, I know that it may seem difficult being a minority teenager that aspires to be a great success when you are surrounded by negativity, racism, peer pressure, and lack of encouragement. I am one of the many that resisted to feed into the negative stereotypes that are set on African-Americans and I encourage students to be positively different as well!”

While in undergrad, many classmates called her the “study queen” because she did well in her classwork. Some students asked her to help them so she shared some tips and received great feedback that they worked. Brown says, “I wanted to share these tips on a broader scale. Many students pass through elementary school and high school easily but struggle in college because they were never taught how to be independent learners.” She also researched that there are plenty of resources for how to study for MCAT or GRE but little to no books on how to study in your daily classes to have a competitive GPA before you can even apply to take those big exams. So, Dr. Brown has published a book to provide these resources for students everywhere. The book is entitled “10 Tactics to Tackle Studying,” and here are a couple of tips she mentions in the book.

Tip #1: Read Easy. This was the most important (and most common) habit students can use for ALL classes. It involves reading a little every night, including the material the day of a lecture, plus after organizing study notes to aid in remembering the flow and orientation of the material. Our brain remembers information better through repetition.

Tip #2: Adaptability. Every class and teacher is different so to be a good student, you have to adapt to your environment. One tactic may not work for one class as well as it will another, but it helps to study ahead and ask the teacher questions early on before the exam if you are struggling.

Tip #3: Condensing. Involves using a few letters in the key word to remember a phrase or definition of the word. You would make out a definition of the word based on the letters within the word so this will lead to decreased reading during studying, more space in your head for other knowledge, and it makes your key word on the exam a “cheat sheet” for yourself!

Tip #4: Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel. We have so many media outlets, books, YouTube, and the Internet to research mnemonics and how-to videos that would relate to a subject you are learning in school. Thus, it would be in your best interest to not waste time creating a new way, when you can quickly find guidance through modern day resources.

About Kelly Fair

Kelly Fair

Kelly Fair is the founder of the highly successful Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program that  has served more than 1,000+ girls, aged seven to 17 years old, to be effective communicators, and career and community conscious leaders! This work has been supported by a network of 400+ volunteers from the Chicagoland community and area businesses such as Bloomingdale’s, Microsoft, ThoughtWorks and many more. You can follow Kelly on her blog and on Twitter at @KFairtheMentor.